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Spotlight: Closing the USD 150 billion smallholder finance is no easy feat – but it is possible. With 450 million smallholders worldwide, key stakeholders such as financial and digital service providers, will need to develop new solutions and scale existing ones to help close the gap.
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Spotlight: Each year, more than 10 million young people across Africa enter the job market, competing for just three million formal jobs. As the continent’s youth population swells steadily towards a projected total of 800 million by 2050, this demographic crisis will intensify even further.
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Spotlight: Women comprise approximately 50% of the labor force in sub-Saharan Africa but are less likely to participate in agribusinesses’ outgrower schemes than men. As a result, women lose out on opportunities for increasing their income and economic empowerment – and agribusinesses miss opportunities for increasing productivity, product quality, and stability in their supply chain.
Marie Sow ICCO STARS
Spotlight: Across Africa, 80% of agricultural production comes from smallholder farmers, most of which are rural women. Yet, in countries like Senegal, only 20% of women have access to financial services and less than 30% of them are involved in governance for their Producer Organizations (POs). As a result, many women struggle to scale their farms and build their businesses. This blog explains how the ICCO STARS program, a Learning Lab partner, is working to address this challenge and empower female farmers through stronger access to finance.
Spotlight:

M-KOPA, a winner of the 2015 FRP Scaling Competition, has taken a leadership role in Solar Home System financing. Read more to learn how M-KOPA is expanding its business model to address rural farmers’ needs through innovative financing options.

Spotlight: New guest blog from Farming First uses two case studies from their recently released climate smart video and case study series to explain how climate smart agriculture practices enable smallholders to more effectively and reliably use finance for agriculture production.
Spotlight: The Rural and Agricultural Finance Learning Lab features work by the Initiative for Smallholder Finance to provide access to foundational research to anyone working towards an expanded smallholder finance market.